War of the Rebellion: Serial 115 Page 0702 PRISONERS OF WAR, ETC.

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NEW YORK, October 2, 1861.

SECRETARY OF STATE, Washington City, D. C.

DEAR SIR: I understand a strong effort is being made for the release of E. B. Wilder, of Newark, N. J., now confined at Fort Lafayette. I trust the Government will weigh this subject well before they acquiesce. One man to the writer's knowledge who is very active in his behalf ought if strict justice were meted out to be in the same inclosure. It has been more than one envelope of fulminating powder. The time may come when I will giveyou my name and residence. In the meantime beware of any communications from George R. Hazewell in behalf of said Wilder.

Very respectfully, &c.,


While writing I understand that Hazewell is this day soliciting letters from leading men in this city through his friend Counsellor Smith for the relief of Wilder. They are a precious pair.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 5, 1861.


U. S. Marshal for the Southern District of New York.

SIR: I have to request that you will bring the case of the prisoner E. B. Wilder, confined at Fort Lafayette, before the first U. S. grand jury empaneled for the southern district of New York.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


NEW YORK, October 6, 1861.

F. W. SEWARD, Assistant Secretary of State.

DEAR SIR: I do not feel quite easy in my mind touching my report in the case of E. B. Wilder, confined in Fort Lafayette. I do not know but he has been discharged notwithstanding that report. If not further reflection couass me to fear that I did him injustice. There wasbut a mere point of proof against him and that was contianed in the intercepted letter. If half who are as guilty as he were imprisoned all the forts in the land would not suffice to contain them. I do not think the Government would be put in peril by setting him at liberty. Under all the circumstances I should be pleased or rather relieved of a little anxiety if your should overrule my report and set Mr. Wilder free.

Yours, respectfully,


DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Washington, October 11, 1861.

Lieutenant Colonel MARTIN BURKE, Fort Lafayette, N. Y.

SIR: Let E. B. Wilder, a prisoner confined in Fort Lfayette, be released on taking the oath of allegiance to the Government of the United States stipulating that he will neither enter any of the States in insurrection against the authority of the United States Government